Sorghum with Snap Peas, Garlic Scapes, & Dill

sorghum, snap peas, garlic scapes

There’s a comfort in ritual.  For me, Sunday means farmers’ market.  While I’m fortunate enough to have access to multiple greenmarkets throughout the week (hello, Union Square), it’s the smaller, slightly quirky one that I can breezily walk to without making a day of it that is dearest to me and the one I get most excited about.  Phil teases me for this (and we laugh about this Superbad scene often), but even he has to admit that the fresh, local produce this time of year is pretty wonderful.  He also loved this dish– which is pretty damn seasonal.
*If you can’t find garlic scapes just use 2-3 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and watch very closely while cooking.
*You can also substitute farro, wheat berries, or pearl couscous for the sorghum (though note that the recipe will no longer be gluten-free).

1 cup sorghum, rinsed and drained
3 cups water or vegetable stock (I used water + ½ bouillon cube)
extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
10-12 garlic scapes, trimmed of stringy and dried ends, chopped
2 cups snap peas, trimmed and de-stringed
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used heirloom grape)
generous handful of dill, chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Place sorghum, water/stock, and a drop of olive oil in a saucepan and cook over high heat until boiling.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 50-60 minutes (mine took 60) or until tender but still a little chewy.  Drain.
  • Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large pan and cook garlic scapes and red pepper flakes over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then.
  • Add snap peas, turn up heat a bit, and cook, stirring as needed, for 3-5 minute, or until snap peas are just cooked through.
  • Add snap peas and scapes to sorghum, and toss in the tomatoes and dill. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or cool.

Yield: About 4-5 servings

sizzling garlic scapes

Strawberry Avocado Rice Cake Snack

strawberry avocado rice cake

I can take or leave the strawberries available at the grocery store year-round. Sure, they’re fine– but that’s about it. Local, in season strawberries, however, are a completely different story. Juicy and flavorful, not overly refrigerated, and adorable to boot, these are the berries that fruit dreams are made of. Here I’ve combined them with their friends balsamic and avocado for a sweet and savory snack that’s light but substantial and just right for these warm early summer days.

1 rice cake (Lundberg is the best; not sponsored)
¼ peeled ripe avocado
sea salt and black pepper
a few strawberries, hulled and sliced
drizzle of balsamic vinegar (the thicker the better)
spoonful of hemp seeds
little fresh basil, torn at last minute, optional

Use a knife to spread ripe avocado on rice cake.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with strawberry slices, balsamic, hemp seeds, and basil (if using).  Eat!

Yield: 1 serving

strawberries

Warm Weather Lentil Quinoa Bowl

lentil quinoa bowl

Like most people, I like my lunches to be as effortless as possible.  This usually means left-overs from last night’s dinner, some sort of sandwich or rice cake creation, or– especially as the weather gets warmer– grabbing whatever items I have in the fridge and throwing them into a bowl.  One of my favorite bases for the “grain” element of the bowl lunch is quinoa, which tastes great at any temperature and is easy to cook a big batch of to have throughout the week.  The same goes for lentils, or feel free to substitute canned (BPA-free and rinsed, please).  Of course with any bowl dish it’s the toppings that make it shine.  Here I used sliced almonds, radish microgreens, olives, and avocado, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon, and a little harissa.  It’s hippie food in the best sense possible.  Delicious, delicious hippie food.

¾ cup cooked and cooled quinoa
½ cup cooked and cooled lentils
olive oil
squeeze or two of lemon
sea salt
a little hot sauce (I like something thick here, like harissa or sriracha)
diced avocado
chopped olives
handful of microgreens, pea shoots, sprouts, etc.
handful of sliced almonds

Combine quinoa and lentils in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon, and sea salt. Top with everything else, then, if desired, finish with another small drizzle of oil and squeeze of lemon.

Yield: 1 serving

Mica the cat

Spring Avocado Cracker Snacks

spring avocado crackers

Radish and butter make for a classic combination, but radish plus extra-virgin coconut oil and avocado equals total buttery, plant-based, creamy, crunchy bliss.  Feel free to use any cracker you like here, though I prefer something savory and hearty like these seedy gluten-free ones from Mary’s Gone Crackers.  These would also make great party hors d’oeuvres (as long as you use crackers substantial enough to handle sitting around).  After all, spring produce is something to celebrate.

Crackers
Extra-virgin coconut oil (solid)
Ripe avocado
Radishes, sliced into thin rounds
Pea shoots (or microgreens, fresh herbs, etc.), cut to fit
Sea salt

On each cracker, spread a bit of coconut oil and then ripe avocado.  Season with salt, add a radish slice, and top with pea shoot.

 

Pasta with Peas, Arugula, & Sun-dried Tomatoes

pasta, peas, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes

Lightly adapted from Mario Batali’s Farfalle with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Arugula

This is one of those dishes that is so simple and easy to throw together yet somehow feels sophisticated.  Simultaneously fresh and comforting, it’s a bit like a lighter, updated version of that 90’s Italian American restaurant staple, the pasta primavera.  Pasta, peas, and wilted arugula are coated in a silky, garlicky, almost creamy sauce, though there’s no actual cream or cheese here (or cashews or nut milk for that matter; this is a vegan blog after all).  Instead olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast combine to make a sort of a magic– a small glittering sea of umami richness.
*I prefer the more flavorful oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes here, but you can certainly substitute the dry kind.  Just be sure to rehydrate first by covering in hot water and soaking for about ten minutes, then draining.

12 oz pasta
1 cup frozen peas, preferably petite
EV olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, preferably the oil-packed kind, cut into slivers
1 cup vegetable broth, divided
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 cups arugula
sea salt and black pepper

  • Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; set a timer for cooking time.  When there is one minute left on the timer, add the peas.  Cook pasta and peas together for remaining minute and then drain.
  • Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large pan and cook garlic and red pepper flakes over medium low heat for a few minutes, watching closely and agitating frequently, until fragrant.
  • Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, a ¼ cup of the vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring now and then, til thickened.
  • Stir in the arugula and the rest of the broth.  Cook for another couple minutes, letting arugula wilt. Combine with pasta and serve.

Yield: About 4 servings